KAMPALA. As plans to turn Namirembe Road and Luwum Street into non-motorised transport (NMT) roads take shape, the designs for the project have been amended for efficiency, Daily Monitor has learnt.
The NMT project is meant to reduce congestion by giving leeway to pedestrians and cyclists.
Mr Dominic Ssemukutu, KCCA’s supervisor of mechanical services, told Daily Monitor in a recent interview that the changes in the design are meant to cater for traffic flow, especially at junctions, among others.
“In the new designs, we are looking at putting in place turnoffs, gardens and lanes for both motorists and pedestrians. The NMT corridor remains the same but those are some of the changes in the designs,” he said.
Mr Ssemukutu said initially, the designs of the project was purely for pedestrians and cyclists hence motorists were not catered for.
For instance, Mr Ssemukutu said both Namirembe Road and Luwum Street have some turnoffs whose traffic have to be clearly catered for in the designs.
It also connects to other roads like Nakivubo and Allen Roads at Qualicel Arcade, John Sebaana Kizito Road at Ham Hopping Mall, Kafumbe Mukasa Road, Martin Road, Mwanga Road and Rubaga Road, among others.
With its beehive of activities, Namirembe Road is the major exit and entry point from motorists either from Mityana, Hoima and the western parts of the country.
Similarly, Luwum Street is one of the busiest streets in Kampala but the heavy traffic gridlock caused by errant motorists makes it congested, according to KCCA.
“When you look at Mwanga II Road, Rubaga Road and Sipro Road Namirembe Road, they all connect to Namirembe Road. This means that in the new designs, we have created provisions at some sections of the road for motorists to be able to join another road but as a one-way,” he said.
The gardens, Mr Ssemukutu said, will be in the middle of the entire corridor with flowers just like the new Nakulabye-Kasubi lane while lanes for both pedestrians and cyclists will be on both the right and left side.
Some pedestrians we spoke to welcome the idea.
“We are happy that KCCA has finally though about pedestrians who have been marginalised for a long time. We have pavements but motorists never allow us to use them,” said Asuman Musoke, a man with disabilities, who sells bread on Namirembe Road.
According to the amended designs, a monument in honour of the late Archbishop Janan Luwum, will be erected at the roundabout where Wilson Road starts off Burton and William Streets, just next to Mapeera House.
The late Archbishop Luwum was killed on the orders of president Idi Amin in 1977.
Although the city political leaders earlier blocked the project, Mr Ssemukutu told Daily Monitor that there have been several engagements between KCCA technocrats and the former which he said have borne fruits.
“We shall continue with engagements because we want the project to kick off by August because everything is now set,” he said.
He said the project will boost people’s businesses on both Namirembe Road and Luwum Street since majority of the people who enter and exit the city, walk.
For instance, a recent report by World Bank on the role of city governments in economic development of greater Kampala shows that at least 84 per cent of businesses in the city sell to customers within a 30-minute walk.
Mr Kennedy Okello, one of the councillors who sits on the engineering committee at KCCA, said there are more pedestrians in the city than motorists, whom he said must be catered for to promote equality.
“It’s a great idea but the interests of all other stakeholders must be taken into consideration,” he said.
According to KCCA’s plans, the NMT project will be used as a pilot study to inform stakeholders on whether the same could be applied elsewhere in the city.